Dimensions: 2 3/16 x 8 1/16 in. (5.6 x 20.5 cm)
Marks: Incised with spiral marks
Classification: Decorative Arts, Ceramics
Credit Line: Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
The Song period can be characterized as introspective and peaceful-a time of Chinese security and stability that can also be seen in the arts of the era. A revival of interest in traditional Chinese culture prevailed, leading to antiquarianism and archaism. The Song focused on their rich heritage, pursuing refinement and luxury in every activity. Porcelain became more elegant and delicate, with glazes more understated and diverse than before. This was an era of the finest porcelain the world has ever produced.
This bowl is "qingbai," or blue-white ware, made in the southern part of China and imitating ting ware of northern China. Qingbai, a popular ware, has extremely pale-blue glazes covering very thin porcelain. Its elegant conical shape and translucent quality are typical characteristics of Song ceramics. Subdued incised designs on both the interior and exterior reflect an interest in unobtrusive decoration. Because these bowls were fired upside down, a metal rim was commonly added to protect the unglazed lip.